Sun Valley On Ice Presents: 2014 Gold Medalists Meryl Davis and Charlie White. August 23rd, 2014.

Be sure to catch 2014 Olympic Gold Medalists Meryl Davis and Charlie White on August 23rd, 2014. For tickets and additional information please visit http://www.sunvalley.com/things-to-do/iceshows/ or call 208.622.2135.

Sun Valley On Ice Presents Ashley Wagner and Nathan Chen. August 9th, 2014.

Be sure to catch 2014 Olympic Bronze Medalist Ashley Wagner and 2014 Jr. World Bronze Medalist Nathan Chen on August 9th, 2014. For tickets and more information please visit http://www.sunvalley.com/things-to-do/iceshows/ or call 208.622.2135.

Sun Valley On Ice Presents Alissa Czisny and Josh Farris. July 26th, 2014.

On July 26th, come join 2x US Gold Medalist Alissa Czisny and 2013 World Jr. Gold Medalist Josh Farris. For tickets and additional information please visit http://www.sunvalley.com/things-to-do/iceshows/ or call 208.622.2135.

Sun Valley On Ice Presents Mirai Nagasu and Max Aaron. Saturday, July 19th.

On July 19th, be sure to check out US Olympic Competitor and 2X US Bronze Medalist Mirai Nagasu. Also that night is 2014 US Bronze Medalist and 2013 US Gold Medalist Max Aaron. For tickets and more information please visit http://www.sunvalley.com/things-to-do/iceshows/ or call 208.622.2135.

Giddy Up!

Growing up on the East Coast, my early perceptions of the west largely consisted of visions of horses and wide open plains – images from books and films. This reality was reinforced by trips to ‘dude ranches’ in Wyoming as a child. I mostly remember scratchy straw cowboy hats, stiff leather cowboy boots and saddle sores from vacations spent on horseback. But I also remember the gorgeous scenery and excitement of learning riding basics.

Picture yourself here. Trail rides are offered seven days a week throughout the summer in Sun Valley.

Picture yourself here. Trail rides are offered seven days a week throughout the summer in Sun Valley.

Though Sun Valley isn’t the Wild West, horseback trail riding is certainly still part of our western culture. And no trip to a dude ranch is required to get some quality time in a saddle.

The Sun Valley Horsemen’s Center, located within easy walking or biking distance of the Lodge and Inn, provides a genuine trail riding experience that is fun, scenic and great for all ability levels. During the summer, stop by the Stables, or call 208.622.2387, and book a guided one or one-and-a-half hour ride up scenic Dollar Mountain. Rides are also available by appointment.

Look for the wagon on Sun Valley Road and stop by the Horsemen's Center to reserve a trail ride or carriage ride.

Look for the wagon on Sun Valley Road and stop by the Horsemen's Center to reserve a trail ride or carriage ride.

Chana, the assistant manager at the Horsemen’s Center (who looks the part in her flannel shirt, cowboy boots with spurs and broad smile), said both rides are beautiful. The California native turned Sun Valley wrangler said the longer ride dips down the Elkhorn side of the mountain, while the shorter ride offers fantastic views of Ketchum and beyond.

“During the high season that really heats up in mid-June, we offer trail rides seven days a week,” Chana said. “The first ride goes out at 9 a.m. and the last ride at 4 p.m. Reservations are required and we can take up to eight people at one time. We cater to the ‘never-ever’, the experienced horse person and everyone in between.”

Participants must be at least eight years old, 52 inches tall and accompanied by an adult. Riders are asked to arrive at the Stables 20 minutes before their set-out time for an orientation. A one-hour ride costs $46 and the longer ride runs $59. Tax is not included.

Communing with Sun Valley's horses is a popular family activity.

Communing with Sun Valley's horses is a popular family activity.

If you don’t want to ride a horse, you can still visit with some of Sun Valley’s most popular residents. The wide pasture along Sun Valley Road is populated by some of the Resort’s gentle horses that are more often than not up for a scratch on the nose or a carrot treat.

Another way to get a taste of the western experience is to book a summer wagon ride to Trail Creek Cabin for dinner. Please call 208.622.2387 for the details on this memorable mode of transportation. Currently, wagon rides are being offered on Tuesday and Friday evenings. The cost is $28 for guests 13 years and older and $18 for ages 2 – 12. This does not include dinner.

Your limousine awaits ... Idaho style!

Your limousine awaits ... Idaho style!

Rustic takes a turn to the romantic when the horse drawn carriage ride is part of a special package in Sun Valley. First, you will be welcomed with chocolates in your well-appointed and elegant room. Then, step back in time as you board a carriage that will carry you to, and from, the sublime Trail Creek Cabin. There, a table for two awaits, either outdoors on the patio or inside in the one-of-a-kind dining room. This romantic special is $237 per person double occupancy and includes one night’s lodging and the carriage ride. It does not include dinner. For reservations please call (866) 616-8224.

Get your giddy up on!

–RES

A meal at Trail Creek Cabin is made even more special by a horse drawn carriage ride

A meal at Trail Creek Cabin is made even more special by a horse drawn carriage ride.

Bring on the Beatles (or at least a fab facsimile)

There is nothing more memorable on a warm summer Sun Valley night than live music in the mountains. This pastime has been elevated in recent years with top acts and bands performing under the sail of the outdoor Sun Valley Pavilion. As the sun dips behind the hills and evening’s shadows creep in, the acoustics in this theater transport the audience to a place far removed from life’s hustle and bustle and busy schedule.

Close your eyes and you'll swear it's John, George, Paul and Ringo when the Fab Four take the stage at the Sun Valley Pavilion July 5

Close your eyes and you'll swear it's John, George, Paul and Ringo when the Fab Four take the stage at the Sun Valley Pavilion July 5

If you’re a Beatles fan, be sure to mark your calendar (and get your tickets) for the July 5 show by the highly acclaimed Fab Four. This event, presented by the Sun Valley Opera, dares you not to sing along (in your head!) to some of the biggest hits of all time. The group, dubbed the ultimate Beatles tribute band is known for their precise attention to detail. Close your eyes. Enjoy the spot-on note-for-note renditions of the Beatles’ lasting hits, and you will truly believe you are listening to John, George, Ringo, and Paul.

The California-based Fab Four was founded in 1997 by John Lennon impersonator Ron McNeil. Today the group covers almost the entire Beatles songbook, as well as solo material. They have performed throughout California, Las Vegas, and around the world in Japan, Malaysia, France, Hong Kong, Great Britain, Germany, Mexico, and Brazil. Next stop? Idaho!

Other performances planned at the Pavilion this summer include a just-announced appearance by the one-and-only Los Lobos. This world famous band will rock the Pavilion on July 13. Known for No. 1 hits like La Bamba, this summer, the band celebrates the 20th anniversary re-release of their landmark Kiko album by Shout! Factory. Due for release on August 21, the album offers amazing new bonus tracks and a live DVD recording in addition to the original album. This legendary American quintet will surely rock the house.

The glorious Pavilion is home to the Sun Valley Summer Symphony, but is also a perfect venue for great concerts like the Fab Four, Los Lobos and the Doobie Brothers

The glorious Pavilion is home to the Sun Valley Summer Symphony, but is also a perfect venue for great concerts like the Fab Four, Los Lobos and the Doobie Brothers

On August 20, as part of the Killebrew-Thompson Memorial, benefiting leukemia and cancer research, the well-loved sounds of the Doobie Brothers will provide the sweetest summer soundtrack for a night at the Pavilion. These four-time Grammy Award winners have recorded some of the most enduring sounds of a generation – or two! They are still writing and recording new music, but promise to play their favorites in Sun Valley. Oh! Listen to the music!

Tickets to the Fab Four, as well as Los Lobos and the Doobie Brothers, are going fast so be sure to click HERE and get yours before they’re gone. All three shows promise to be anything but a Hard Day’s Night…

Enough bad song title puns … just be sure to get your tickets and plan on spending some of the best nights of the season surrounded by good friends, spectacular scenery and some pretty great music.

–RES

The magic happens beneath the sail of the Pavilion, but the views are still pretty magical -- even from inside

The magic happens beneath the sail of the Pavilion, but the views are still pretty magical -- even from inside

Los Lobos @ The Sun Valley Pavilion. July 13, 2014

“With the exception of U2, no other band has stayed on top of its game as long as Los Lobos…But while U2 constantly reinvent themselves and compete with new generations of bands, these East L.A. vets just keep on making the same golden blend of blues, R&B, cumbia and barrio rock & roll that they first laid down when Jimmy Carter was president.” For tickets and more information please visit http://sunvalley.ticketfly.com/event/588573-los-lobos-sun-valley/

Spend your Summer at the Rink

When it’s hot outside (and it is definitely already getting there) there is no cooler place to be than Sun Valley’s iconic outdoor skating rink. The largest year-round outdoor rink in the country, it is also one of the prettiest. Views extend over Dollar and Bald Mountains and to the historic Sun Valley Lodge.

Everyone who is anyone has skated in Sun Valley and no summer stay here is complete without taking in the magical Sun Valley On Ice Saturday night shows

Everyone who is anyone has skated in Sun Valley and no summer stay here is complete without taking in the magical Sun Valley On Ice Saturday night shows

There is a well-known saying here that “everyone who is anyone has skated in Sun Valley,” and in the world of world-class figure skating, that is true, indeed. The legendary Saturday night Sun Valley On Ice Shows have drawn Olympic and world champions, top professional talent and up-and-comers for decades. No visit to Sun Valley is complete without taking in an ice show under the stars. This year’s high voltage lineup includes Sochi Olympic gold medal winners in ice dance, the magical Meryl Davis and Charlie White on August 23. The beautiful Gracie Gold, Olympic bronze medalist, kicks off the season on July 4 and fellow Olympic team member, 2013 US National Champion Ashley Wagner, will take center ice August 9. From Sochi to Sun Valley: It doesn’t get much better than that! Crowd favorite and Olympic gold medalist Evan Lysacek returns to Sun Valley August 30. Ryan Bradley and Johnny Weir are also among the featured skaters this summer making for quite a lineup. The talented and always-entertaining core skater favorites include Craig Heath, Ashley Clark, Darlin Baker, Jozef Sabovcik, Kim Navarro and Brent Bommentre, Anita Hartshorn, Natalia Zaitseva and Jonathan Hunt, Ryan Bradley, Erin Reed and Jason Graetz.

The venue is intimate and there are few places where you can get so close to your favorite skaters. The athletes all say they love to skate in Sun Valley because they can see and hear the audience and the energy is amazing. Many of the stars stay after the show to greet fans and even sign autographs if they have time. Get your tickets early (they go on sale May 15), be sure to bring blankets to sit on (if you get bleacher seats) and layers to add as the evening temperature drops and come out and enjoy this amazing ice show.

Gracious figure skating stars like Sasha Cohen often take time to talk with, and pose with fans, following a show

Gracious figure skating stars like Sasha Cohen often take time to talk with, and pose with fans, following a show

But you don’t need to be the best of the best to skate in Sun Valley. Throughout the summer, there are sessions available to everyone – from a first timer to a competitive skater. Children love to skate and take to it quickly. To make those first turns as enjoyable as possible, you might consider booking a group or private lesson for your child (or yourself!). Group lessons that teach basic skills are offered at the outdoor rink from mid-June to mid-August. This drop-in format teaches figure skating building blocks like stroking, skating forward, skating backward and that all-important skill, stopping. Classes are instructive, fun and affordable. With the help of a professional, you will see improvement in your scratch spins, swizzles, maybe even Salchow jumps!

Pros like Ashley Clark will wow you every Saturday night in Sun Valley On Ice and then are often available to give lessons.

Pros like Ashley Clark will wow you every Saturday night in Sun Valley On Ice and then are often available to give lessons.

For even more opportunities to improve, semi-private lessons are given for up to four skaters of similar level. Popular clinics are also offered throughout the summer season. The Sun Valley Skating School offers up to 20 classes a day on both the beautiful outdoor rink and the full-size indoor rink that is equipped with a ballet studio and a jumping harness. Clinics begin at 8:30 a.m. and run to 5:30 p.m. They include classes on spinning, jumping, stroking, performance, spirals, ice dance and more. Students can pre-register for the whole summer or pay by the week. Walk-ons are available on a first-come, first-served basis. For full information on available classes, pricing and registration, please click HERE.

If you don’t want a lesson, but just want to enjoy a spin around the rink, visit the skate house and select a package that includes ice time, skate rentals, even a helmet. Please call 208-622-2194 for a current schedule.

Skating is fun for the whole family. Rent some skates and try it!

Skating is fun for the whole family. Rent some skates and try it!

For my family, summer and skating are synonymous. My two daughters, who now skate competitively, first laced up skates as toddlers during our summer vacations in Sun Valley. I’m not sure if it was the great teachers, pretty dresses or beautiful setting, but they caught the skating bug and have committed to this sport for 10 years now. As members of the Sun Valley Figure Skating Club (celebrating 75 years this summer), they spend hours and hours each summer at the rink, participating in classes, working on skills, selling snacks at Sun Valley On Ice and being generally inspired by all the talented and enthusiastic skaters at the rink. It is a wonderful way to spend the warm weather months.

Come join us this summer to take part in a great Sun Valley tradition that is now nearly 80 years old. Skating is fun, it’s super exercise and it is a wonderful way to glide away an afternoon or evening.

–RES

And so it begins... my daughter Blake and her friend Alex, two future National Showcase Champions

And so it begins... my daughter Blake and her friend Alex, two future National Showcase Champions

You’re Never too Young for Wellness

For children, incorporating some of the basic tenets of “wellness” into their lives is as easy as skipping down the sidewalk. Naturally open-minded, creative, inquisitive and joyful, children and teens are at the perfect age and stage to enjoy new experiences, the lessons of which they can carry with them for their entire lives.

Debra Drake provides children the opportunity to move and enjoy on Saturday morning, May 24

Debra Drake provides children the opportunity to move, enjoy and get centered on Saturday morning, May 24

Because of this, this year’s Sun Valley Wellness Festival, now in its 17th year, offers special programming for the special younger people in our lives. Based in the Sun Valley Village for four days over Memorial Day weekend, the Festival offers something for everyone, including kiddos – and their parents. In fact, one of the most highly anticipated speakers at this year’s event is Kim John Payne, author of the wildly popular parenting book, Simplicity Parenting: Using the Extraordinary Power of Less to Raise Calmer, Happier, and More Secure Kids. More on Mr. Payne in a bit …

According to Kerry Brokaw, one of the primary organizers of this year’s Children’s Wellness Festival, this portion of the Festival was started four years ago with the idea of bringing spiritual awareness to children.

Kerry Brokaw performs as part of Mountain Moon Puppetry

Kerry Brokaw performs as part of Mountain Moon Puppetry

“This year the children’s festival welcomes younger and older children and will celebrate movement, art, music, puppetry and mindfulness,” Brokaw said. “The nature of the activities reflects the rhythm of breathing, an ‘in breath’ followed by an ‘out breath’; thus, a more lively activity, such as dance, is followed by a more focused and meditative artistic activity.”

Kids’ programming takes place on Saturday, May 24, and is based in Sun Valley’s Boiler Room. Morning activities are directed more at younger children (age suggestions are provided on the Sun Valley Wellness Festival website), and include Mindful Movement with Debra Drake featuring hoops, silks and blocks, followed by Jessica Banks, a Waldorf Kindergarten and Handworks teacher who will lead the children in wet felting, creating “message rocks” wrapped in felted wool to take home. Parents are asked to accompany their children during these morning activities. “It will definitely be fun for all!” Brokaw enthused.

Kids are invited to drum with Tim Hanna in a call and response style that is fun and appropriate for all experience levels

Kids are invited to drum with Tim Hanna in a call and response style that is fun and appropriate for all experience levels

From 11:30 a.m. to noon, children of all ages are invited to a marionette puppet presentation of a transformative African tale by Kerry Brokaw and Bege Reynolds, Early Childhood Educators and creators of Mountain Moon Puppetry. The ever-popular Tim Hanna, West African drumming teacher and Zenergy‘s Health and Wellness Manager, will accompany the production with his djembe drums.

Afternoon activities, designed primarily for children nine years old and up, begin at 12:45 p.m. when Tim Hanna teaches a beginning level djembe drum rhythms (hand drumming) class. He bases his teachings off of a series of calls and responses. He plays a small piece of a rhythm and then the class repeats it back. This style is very effective in working with all ability levels even if participants have never touched a drum. Plus, it’s really, really fun.

Dale and Peggy Bates will get the children on their feet and dancing

Dale and Peggy Bates will get the children on their feet and dancing

Then, it’s time to get up and move as Dale and Peggy Bates host line dancing for the older children and teens. This is not your grandparents’ line dancing according to Brokaw! Then it’s ‘breath out’ time again as Jessica Banks and Tammy Hood offer needle felting, a more advanced form of wool felting. The final out breath comes when as Kate Janke, a long-time participant of and speaker for the Sun Valley Wellness Festival, ends the program with a Heart and Mind Meditation workshop. Younger children, ages six and up, are invited back for this peaceful end to the day.

In addition, Tammy Hood, Education Director at Sawtooth Botanical Garden, will be on hand to share some curious critters from the Bug Zoo during the entire event.

On Sunday, May 25, from 11:15 a.m. to 1:15 p.m., Kim John Payne will present “Simplicity Parenting” in Limelight Room A at the Sun Valley Inn. Payne’s book of the same name swept through the community this year and was read, discussed and passed on up and down the valley. He is making many re-think their parenting priorities.

Author and thinker Kim John Payne will bring his 'less is more' wisdom to parents during the Wellness Festival

Author and thinker Kim John Payne will bring his 'less is more' wisdom to parents during the Wellness Festival

“Having Kim John Payne come to the valley is a fabulous opportunity for parents, grandparents, educators, health care providers and anyone who works with children and teenagers to meet with a brilliant and resourceful mentor and colleague,” Brokaw said. His lecture is sure to touch on many of the topics that have everyone talking: discipline, raising socially resilient children, social difficulties with siblings and classmates, and fostering self-esteem. Known for his practical approach, sense of humor and wisdom, he connects with his audience, making his ideas both understandable and practicable.

For more on Kim John Payne, please visit www.socialsustain.com. He is a fascinating man who is changing the way many think about parenting in this day of rampant technology and “busier is better” standards.

Tickets to all Wellness Festival events are now on sale and the full schedule, speaker and event descriptions and more can be found HERE.

Bring your kids to Sun Valley over Memorial Day weekend and help get them started on a lifetime path of wellness.

–RES

The Boiler Room at the Sun Valley Village is HQ for children's wellness events

The Boiler Room at the Sun Valley Village is HQ for children's wellness events

Spring into Wellness

Springtime is all about renewal and in Sun Valley, there is no better way to revive, recharge and maybe even revise your way of thinking than at the perennially popular Sun Valley Wellness Festival. The five-day event straddles spring and early summer, bringing the most interesting, sought after and inspiring speakers and practitioners to the Sun Valley Resort, offering something for everyone. Films and workshops are also part of what makes this one of the premier wellness events in the nation.

Start the summer season in just the right way at the Sun Valley Wellness Festival. Get centered, get inspired.

Start the summer season in just the right way at the Sun Valley Wellness Festival. Get centered, get inspired.

In its 17th year, the Festival kicks off on May 22 and runs through Memorial Day, May 26. More than 30 presentations and workshops are scheduled, all designed to “inspire positive change” in body, mind, spirit and environmental awareness according to event organizers.

Headlining an impressive list of nationally known speakers is the one-and-only Diana Nyad who will deliver the keynote address. Nyad’s recent record-breaking swim from Cuba to the U.S. (all without a shark cage) was a lifelong dream, but there is much, much more to her story. At 64, she is sure to inspire others to keep pursuing their dreams. A documentary based on her experience, “The Other Shore,” will be screened in advance of the Festival on May 10 at the nexStage Theatre in Ketchum.

Also coming to Sun Valley to offer her unique perspective is second keynote speaker Kris Carr: New York Times best-selling author, wellness activist and cancer ‘thriver’. She will speak on “Crazy, Sexy, Wellness.”

Speakers Eric Saperston, Tommy Rosen and a friend let the joy flow at last year's Wellness Festival (photo courtesy Nick Maricich).

Speakers Eric Saperston, Tommy Rosen and a friend let the joy flow at last year's Wellness Festival (photo courtesy Nick Maricich).

Other top 2014 Sun Valley Wellness Festival speakers include: new visionary spiritual leader Panache Desai, relationship expert Arielle Ford, Heart Math founder Howard Martin, yoga master and addiction recovery expert Tommy Rosen, GMO experts Don Huber and Tyrone Hayes, author and filmmaker Eric Saperston, Simplicity Parenting founder Kim John Payne, wellness shift comedian Kyle Cease, Mindfulness Meditation expert Kate Janke, author, speaker and co-creator of film “What the Bleep Do We Know?” Betsy Chasse, Kundalini Yoga expert Kia Miller, naturopath and triathlete Dr. James Rouse, astrologist David Pond, intuitive experts Gary Quinn and Peggy Rometo, Oneness leader and Interfaith minister Rev Michael Milner, PhD and many more, according to Festival organizers. See? Something for everyone!

The Movement Studio and Wellness Expo is another great way to participate in the Festival. The Movement Studio offers numerous types of yoga practices taught by top teachers, including Tommy Rosen. At the Sun Valley Inn, the Wellness Expo encourages exploration and features vendors selling everything from beautiful clothes to jewelry to health products. In the Hands-On-Hall, you can get a massage, try reflexology or have an intuitive reading. The Wellness Expo is free and open to the public throughout the Festival.

Try a henna tattoo at the Hands On Hall at the Sun Valley Inn.

Try a henna tattoo at the Hands On Hall at the Sun Valley Inn.

Children are welcome at the event, too, with programs designed just for the younger set.

For a full listing of speakers, workshops, films and events and for ticket information please click HERE.

The Sun Valley Resort provides a beautiful backdrop (and great place to stay) for all the events the Festival offers.

The Sun Valley Resort provides a beautiful backdrop (and great place to stay) for all the events the Festival offers.

Sun Valley Resort is offering special Wellness Festival lodging rates, starting at just $120. To make lodging reservations call 1-800-786-8259 and ask for the Wellness Festival rates.

In between events, be sure to get out into Sun Valley’s mountains and onto the trails for some fresh air, sunshine, blue skies and wellness of a complimentary variety. Just steps away from the Resort are hiking and biking trails suitable for every fitness level. Be sure to pop into Pete Lane’s at the Sun Valley Village and ask for a recommendation and get any gear you might need. Sun Valley is also known for its restorative hot springs, endless fitness opportunities, vibrant cultural scene and so much more. Five days won’t be enough to get it all in!

Sun Valley has always been a place to recharge and to heal and it's easy to see why.

Sun Valley has always been a place to recharge and to heal and it's easy to see why.

Renew your mind, refresh your spirit, replenish your soul in Sun Valley this May. Stay tuned to this blog for updates and more information on the Sun Valley Wellness Festival.

See you there over Memorial Day weekend!

–RES

(photos courtesy of the Sun Valley Wellness Institute)